Just in: Salzburg loses Zubin Mehta

Just in: Salzburg loses Zubin Mehta


norman lebrecht

December 15, 2013

He was supposed to conduct Rosenkavalier next summer but has some surgery scheduled. Franz-Welser-Möst steps in, tightening his grip on the festival as Pereira departs. Press announcement below.

zubin mehta kashmir3

(December 15, 2013, SF) Zubin Mehta is extraordinarily sorry that an impending operation has forced him to withdraw from conducting Der Rosenkavalier in the summer of 2014, an event we had been looking forward greatly.

The Salzburg Festival is delighted that Franz Welser-Möst, GMD of the Vienna State Opera and Musical Director of The Cleveland Orchestra, has spontaneously declared his willingness to conduct this new production with the Vienna Philharmonic, directed by Harry Kupfer.


Der Rosenkavalier is a work very dear to Franz Welser-Möst’s heart. I feel that it is a happy fate that this Rosenkavalier will be entrusted to him,” says Artistic Director Alexander Pereira.



Richard Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier

Comedy for music in three acts by Hugo von Hofmannsthal

Vienna Philharmonic, Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus, Salzburg Festival and Theatre Children’s Chorus

Soloists: Krassimira Stoyanova, Sophie Koch, Mojca Erdmann, Silvana Dussmann, Adrian Eröd, Günther Groissböck and others

Director: Harry Kupfer, Sets: Hans Schavernoch, Costumes: Yan Tax

Supported by the Salzburg Festival Society (USA)

Premiere: August 1, 2014, 6:00 pm, Großes Festspielhaus


  • sdReader says:

    Interesting! Despite the words, I doubt Pereira “spontaneously” wanted FWM … and in fact FWM is no Straussian, lacking imagination.

    • Musiker says:

      Do you read back your comments before clicking on the “post comment” button?

      Might be wise to do so.

      “FWM is no Straussian, lacking imagination”.

      What does that mean?

      That among conductors who specialize in certain composers, only Strauss conductors need “imagination”?

      Or that Welser-Möst might be good in other repertoire, where no “imagination” is needed, but not in Strauss?

      Precisely what sort of “imagination” is needed to conduct Strauss as opposed to other composers?

      I presume you think you sound very clever and expert in making such statements, when they are, in fact, vacuous and meaningless.

      Have you actually ever heard Welser-Möst in Strauss or other repertoire to put you in a position to judge.

      It’s just a hunch, but I seriously doubt it.

      • sdReader says:

        He’s terrific in Schubert and Wagner, not suited to Strauss or Zemlinsky, going on performances I have attended. First heard him in 2000. (We own no CDs or DVDs of his work.) His conducting is consistent and stable. He’s frankly better than most!

  • Zimon says:

    It is a great pity for Pereira not to choose Eschenbach to step in for Mehta. It would have been great for Salzburg Festival to have Eschenbach conducting both Le Nozze di Figaro and Der Rosenkavalier in the same Summer. They could have work out a schedule for Eschenbach to be able to juggle two operas at the same time!

  • Manu says:

    Adám Fischer would have been a better choice. He owns that opera.

  • ChiMark says:

    I thought that FWM’s Salome in Cleveland with Nina Stemme was rushed. The Orchestra playing at a high standard, but I did not equate the quick tempos with intensity. In fact, I find this approach to most of what he conducts in the symphonic repertoire, while pulling back a bit at big moments. There are exceptions, of course, but often in the Austrian-Germanic repertoire I keep asking myself whether this guy is really Austrian. Technically he seems fairly well prepared as a conductor, more so when he was younger, but less of a natural conducting talent that does not impart much inspiration on his musicians. At least today there are many better choices, but securing a conductor with name recognition for Salzburg at this juncture, well frankly one could do worse.